|Sisters foster Eastwood success (05-29-13)|
|Written by JACK CARLE Sentinel Sports Editor|
|Wednesday, 29 May 2013 09:26|
LUCKEY - The only other time Eastwood's softball team has played in a regional game, Christine Foster was the starting pitcher.
When the Eagles take this field this afternoon in the regional, Whitney Foster, Christine's younger sister, will be in the pitcher's circle.
Eastwood, 27-3, faces Fairview, 19-3, this afternoon in a Division III game at 5 p.m. at Liberty Center High School.
In 2008, the Eagles were in Division II and Christine Foster got the regional semifinal start against Clyde. She was replaced by Audrey Flores, but later came back into the game. Clyde posted an 11-5 victory.
Now, Christine Foster is helping coach the Eagles as an assistant with head coach Joe Wyant. And she has been sharing her knowledge with her sister and the rest of the team.
''Now with the nerves coming, I'm trying the settle them down the team and her,'' Christine Foster said. ''She knows that a lot of it is going to rest on her shoulders, and I know how that feels.
''You have to start ahead; that's the key thing, she had to start ahead, because when you get in a hole, it doesn't go well'' Christine Foster continued. ''Whitney will come to me and say 'My drop curve is not working, tell me what I need to fix.''
Christine Foster added she enjoys helping the whole team, looking for little things from the dugout that can benefit everyone.
For Whitney Foster, she is happy to have someone who knows what it's like to be all alone in the center of the diamond as your teammates are waiting for you to make a pitch. It doesn't hurt that the two are related.
''She's great. When I go to ask her for advice, she knows my pitching style, she knows what kind of pitcher I am and what I like to throw,'' Whitney Foster said.
Whitney Foster said she gets really nervous before a game.
''I will freak out, but once I get to the field I'm fine. Then I get in the zone and relax,'' she said.
Foster has provided the Eagles with consistent pitching, which combined with solid hitting and good defense had helped propelled Eastwood to 27 wins and the regional berth.
''We have had very consistent pitching and above average hitting. You never know which person is going to hit. We are pretty solid one through nine,'' Wyant said. ''We are a lot better defense by statistics than we were a year ago. Typically, we average one and one-half errors per game.''
Before the season started, Wyant thought he would have a pretty good team, one which could win 20 or so games.
''I didn't know we would be this good,'' Wyant said.
''We have five seniors, this is their third year starting,'' Wyant added. ''And then adding in a couple of juniors and a freshman and that makes us pretty good.''
A major addition to the team has been freshman shortstop Mackenzie Albright, who also hits in the leadoff spot.
''She makes some errors, just like everybody,'' Wyant said. ''But she has also made numerous great plays, going into the outfield, taking line drives, popups and bloopers away.
''She's probably been the best shortstop I have ever had being able to turn and run and get a popup or a line drive.''
Fairview is making its first district appearance since 1998. The Apaches beat No. 2 Archbold in the district final to advance.
Today's game was moved from Ashland's Brookside Park to Liberty Center, but Wyant is not happy with the decision. The Eagles have never played at Liberty Center or in Brookside Park.
"It was published by the state and I think we should go there,'' Wyant said. ''It's a two-hour drive, maybe a little longer for them (Fairview). Whichever one wins we've got to play there Saturday. So I think it would be a benefit to get it out of the way.''
On Saturday, the Eastwood-Fairview winner will face the winner of Thursday's Magnolia Sandy Valley-Milan Edison game at Brookside Park starting at noon. Thursday's semifinal game is also set for Brookside Park.
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